Mathematical Calculators

Shannon Diversity Index Calculator

The Shannon biodiversity index calculator can be used to calculate the diversity of species in a community. Ecologists can use the Shannon diversity index to gain useful information about habitat.

Shannon Diversity Index Calculator


Table of contents

What is the Shannon diversity indicator?
How do you calculate the Shannon diversity indicator?
Example of how Shannon diversity index can be calculated
What is the Shannon diversity index?
How do you interpret the Shannon diversity indicator?
Can Shannon's diversity index exceed 1?

What is the Shannon diversity indicator?

The Shannon diversity indicator (a.k.a. The Shannon-Wiener diversity indicator is a popular metric in ecology. It is based on Claude Shannon's formula for entropy estimates species diversity. The index considers the diversity of species in a given habitat (richness) and their relative abundance (evenness).

How do you calculate the Shannon diversity indicator?

Use the Shannon diversity indicator formula:
ₕ ₌ ₋∑[₍ₚᵢ₎ × ₗₙ₍ₚᵢ₎]
To calculate the percentage of each species, divide the total number in the community by the number of individuals within that species.
Multiply the species' proportions by the logarithm.
Sum all numbers starting at step 2.
Multiply by -1.

Example of how Shannon diversity index can be calculated

Let's say we have to determine the species diversity of a portion of a rainforest. In the area we are interested, there are five scarlet macaws and 13 blue morpho butterflies. 2 capybaras, five three-toed sloths, one jaguar, and five capybaras.
We will use the Shannon diversity formula to calculate diversity
ₕ ₌ ₋∑[₍ₚᵢ₎ * ₗₙ₍ₚᵢ₎]
We need to know the number of people.
Calculate the percentage of each species in the entire community (third column on the table).
Multiply ln (pi) by pi to get the answer to three decimal positions (fourth column).
Add all the numbers in the last column to get the Shannon-Wiener diversity equation. We can multiply them by one immediately and ignore the minus signs because we did not want to do that.
Here is our rounded Shiner diversity index: H ≈ ₁.₃.

What is the Shannon diversity index?

The Shannon diversity index shows how many species are in a community. It increases with increasing numbers of species and increased evenness of their abundance.
Species Number of individuals (n) Proportion pi = n / N ln(pi) Pi * ln(pi)
Scarlet Macaw 5 0.2 -1.609 -0.322
Blue Morpho Butterfly 12 0.48 -0.734 -0.352
Capybara 2 0.08 -2.526 -0.202
Three-Toed Sloth 5 0.2 -1.609 -0.322
Jaguar 1 0.04 -3.219 -0.129

How do you interpret the Shannon diversity indicator?

The higher an index is, the more diverse species are within the habitat. If the index is equal to 0, there will be only one species in the community.
You may find it easier to understand the result if E = / ln (k). k is the number species. The value of evenness is between 0 to 1 (or you can consider it a percentage). Keep in mind that the greater the diversity, the lower the evenness.

Can Shannon's diversity index exceed 1?

The Shannon diversity index can be more than 1. The index for a community with six species and 100 members is around 1.79. The Shannon index should not be confused with evenness. Evenness is another common metric used in ecology. It takes values between 0 to 1.

Parmis Kazemi
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Parmis Kazemi
Parmis is a content creator who has a passion for writing and creating new things. She is also highly interested in tech and enjoys learning new things.

Shannon Diversity Index Calculator English
Published: Tue Mar 29 2022
In category Mathematical calculators
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